Spotlight On…

image1This month we are featuring a spotlight on Dawn McElhinney, school counselor at Ross Elementary.  Read on to learn more about Mrs. McElhinney!

 A Little Bit About Me
I started working at Ross in 2007. Previously I worked as a middle school counselor in the Peters Township School District. When I was studying to become a school counselor, I always thought I wanted to work in a high school and that is the only grade level where I have not taught. I think elementary is the best and am so happy to have been a part of the Ross family for so long.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you are not at work?
Any teachers at Ross would tell you that I LOVE to bake. I enjoy making and decorating cakes, making fudge and lots of different kinds of cookies. Finding new, challenging recipes is such a treat. Some day, I tell the students I will own a bakery.
I also enjoy helping out with the Ross Dance program, being a board member for our preschool, serving at church in the preschool rooms, and watching my children at gymnastics. Some days I think I live at Jewarts Gymnastics.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I have so many!! As a young child I enjoyed Dr. Seuss and of course I loved Judy Bloom books and as I got older I loved mysteries. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. Right now, my oldest daughter and I are reading the Harry Potter books, it has been so much fun to watch her wonder while reading this series of books.
What is your favorite food?
Anything Italian!! Growing up in an Italian family, we ate pasta and pizza at least once every week. I spent many hours making homemade gnocchi and fresh sauces with my grandma. It is some of my best childhood memories! I love to try new foods and new places to eat. Rico’s is one of my favorites.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your childhood-self?
I would tell myself that working hard is worth it! I was always a student who had to work really hard in school and there were days I would wonder why school was so easy for some kids. I would remind myself not to give up because it will all pay off!
What do you love about Pittsburgh?
There is so much to love about Pittsburgh. I love the sports teams obviously, but there are so many great neighborhoods around the city. I love spending Saturdays in the Strip District or shopping in Shadyside. We also have so many great kid friendly venues here. We have the best museums, zoos, parks, and the cultural district (plays/musicals).
If you could be any animal (besides a human), what would you be and why?
I really have no idea. I think a dog would be nice. They are usually adored by their owners, get lots of treats, get to take leisurely walks everyday. My dog is spoiled, I think I would want to be her.
What was your favorite subject in school?
That is an interesting question because that changed for me over the years. I loved Reading and creative writing as a young student but found myself enjoying social studies as I grew older. Now, for the first time in my life, I love to teach others math.